Campaign to combat loneliness to launch

By Rebecca Weller contact

- Last updated on GMT

Christmas Plus One: bringing people together
Christmas Plus One: bringing people together

Related tags: Christmas, pub is the hub, Heineken, Social responsibility

A new campaign that encourages customers to bring someone at risk of being lonely to the pub with them to combat loneliness in their area, and benefit pubs, has been launched.

Publicans are invited to encourage customers to bring someone from their community who may be vulnerable to loneliness throughout December to the pub with them as part of a nationwide campaign, Christmas Plus One,​ organised by Together Coalition.

The campaign came to fruition after recent surveys looked at how the Coronavirus pandemic united or divided people and was conducted as part of Together Coalitions Talk/Together project, which saw 73% of the 78,790 people who took part state they would like society to be closer and more connected in the future.

Pub is the Hub and Heineken’s pub arm, Star Pubs and Bars, have showed support for the campaign, with Star announcing its 140 managed operator pubs were set to host events throughout December and encouraged its 2,300 employees to volunteer in Christmas Plus One.

Kim FitzGibbon, licensee at Star Pubs & Bars’ pub the Drill in Romford, Essex, said: “I am looking forward to bringing some festive joy to customers this year, especially after missing out last Christmas. 

Helping those who feel isolated 

“The Christmas Plus One​ campaign is a great way to remind people to think about those who would love to have more social interaction with others and may feel socially isolated.”

“We will be highlighting the campaign and hope that customers will act on it and bring someone with them to the pub to enjoy a pint or meal, we can all do our bit and it's not a big ask, so I do hope other pubs get involved too."

The campaign, which takes place across the whole month with a special campaign day on 14 December, follows Brewing Good Cheer campaign​ by Star, which was established in 2017, and Pub is the Hubs year round campaign ‘Join Inn -Last Orders for Loneliness’.

Publicans have been encouraged to take part with an event or activity on campaign day to help spread some festive joy.

Customers, charities, community groups and volunteers have also been asked to do small acts of kindness throughout December and take someone along as a ‘plus one’ to the pub for a chat, a drink, some food, or community event in a bid to help build kinder, closer, and more connected communities in the aftermath of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Make a difference to someone's day

Deborah Kemp, ambassador for loneliness for the ‘Join Inn - Last Orders for Loneliness’ campaign, said: “By encouraging customers to bring a ‘plus one’ along to the pub in December publicans can not only make a difference to someone’s day, but potentially make their pub accessible to a whole new audience, community group or local volunteers.”

 “We appreciate Christmas is already a busy and challenging time for publicans, but there are many simple ways to join in and make a difference with Christmas Plus One​.

“This new initiative is all about connecting people and their communities at a time of celebration and goodwill - a time of year when so many might feel that no one cares.”

For more information, find out how to get involved or access event posters click here​.

Related topics: Events & Occasions

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